Friday, August 24, 2007

And I Still Believe in Prayer...

Even though the Lord chose to answer in a way we were hoping to avoid. Please pray for the Gilliam family as they navigate the tender passage of their son to a Lord they love and trust. There is comfort in knowing where Jude is going and deep, deep sorrow in his absence from their lives. We can rejoice at the unification that occurs when people gather to pray and we can have such great compassion for a loss we all know we do not want to bear. Thinking of this family...still praying, this time for comfort and healing as they grieve such an incredible loss...thank you for joining me in lifting them up.

Our Dear Dana

Years ago, teaching Sunday School, I had the priviledge of meeting some of the most wonderful children the world has ever known. I would not know at the time, the seeds that were being sown for lifelong friendships.

Raven-haired and confident, yet uniquely reserved, Dana entered my life. (and forever captured my heart!) As years would pass, Dana would show herself as a true leader in every sense of the word. She was passionate, compassionate and the type of person everyone wanted to emulate. I recall holding a weeping Dana in my arms on a few occasions,one of which was when her father suffered a heart attack - Dana was still a very young girl. Her father is fine, and recently walked our sweet Dana down the aisle. It was the lovliest of days for two of the lovliest people.

I was with Dana on her very first mission trip, I had the honor of confirming Dana (and her equally magnificent three siblings), we have prayed together countless times and she has become a fiber in the tapestry of my life. Today, I am thankful for Dana. I watched the other day as she gave swim lessons to my daughter and remembered a time when I could hold her on my lap and keep her afloat. I was mesmerized by her beauty and the tenderness with which she approaches everything she does. So, today is in honor of Dana and her exceptional family - how blessed we are to call you friends.

The Kids of Mission Trip 2000 (this was the last time Dana and I missioned together)

Tha Day of Dana's Junior Prom

Dana and Michael got married!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I believe in prayer...

Kim at 3Peanuts posted about a little boy named Jude, who was critically injured in a drowning accident recently. I do not know this handsome little one, nor do I know his family, but I do believe in the power of prayer. You can visit here to read about Jude and his family. Please consider them when you pray today.

UPDATE: Jude's parents report that he looks good, the swelling is gone and though he has not woken up and there is a lack of brain activity, they are trusting God to his care and for the miracle they plan to celebrate. Their faith is astounding, humbling and awe-inspiring. Join me in praying for their miracle to happen soon!

Monday, August 20, 2007


During a recent heat wave, we had some fun outside. Both girls are tousled and not necessarily camera ready, but we had fun, so I thought others might enjoy sharing.

Our plans to head to the beach this weekend were rained out, so we headed to the aquarium because we felt like fishies!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Girl, Her Dad and a Car

A few years ago, the following conversation occured between my husband and myself.

Him: What if the baby is a GIRL??
Me: Huh?
Him: The baby - what will I ever do with a girl?
Me: Sorry, I don't understand.
Him: (exasperated sigh) I mean a boy, I will take to baseball games and work on the car, you know.
Me: Mmmm hmmm.
Him: Are you listening?
Me: Yeah, I just don't think it's anything to worry about - you'll know exactly what to do, trust me.

Now, with two girls, we still go to baseball games and work on the car. He built this car with all original VW parts. It is no longer practical, it has no back seat (but quite the kickin' stereo system) and we can't ride in it as a family. So, he is tinkering with the idea of selling it. It is a great conversation piece, except for the fact that it is so loud, you can't hear each other sitting just feet from one another. I love this car, too. On one of our first dates, we went for a ride in this car and having grown up in a "car family", I was totally intrigued. His eyes do that "thing" when he talks about it - "The Bug" and he lights up when Emily says how beautiful it is - red, her favorite color, the color God crayoned her hair! Every now and again, he and Em head out to the carriage house, pull out the car, wash it all up and ride up to the cul-de-sac and back. They think it is a perfect afternoon - I must say, I agree.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Babydolls, Babysitters and Miss Hannah Leigh


"Dink Bobble"

Cause "bobble" is going in sissy's ear!

She's a nurturer, this one! But, make no mistake, when she is finished caring for baby, it is alarming the dexterity Hannah exhibits to toss Baby clear across a room, proclaiming, "ALL DONE!"

Our little girlfriend is on the move...running (oh, we have left walking in the dust) yes, running to our next conquest. Hair flying in the wind, complete with maniacal laugh and the falls that only Pampers can cushion. Here in "the gated community", we have to watch our step these days as Hannah explores and causes her own brand of mischief. Her favorites are closing doors and holding them shut and trying on everyone's shoes (what is it about girls and shoes???) She has begun to get shoes, hand them to us and balance to lift one foot then the other. She is extremely annoyed when she selects a doll shoe, which of course will not fit those pretty little toes. At this point she takes matters into her own hands, plopping down and grunting as though the harder she works the more likely she will actually get that shoe on her foot!

Hannah is also partial to Emily's clothes and (shame on me for not having a camera on hand everytime she has done it) takes off wearing her shirt or unmentionables on her head. Emily laughed so hard the first time, she couldn't breathe. We both laughed - the kind of laugh we all wish we could bottle - the one we heard in our dreams during the long and seemingly endless wait.

This week, I returned to work. I do not work much, enough to help us, not enough to be away much. Being a mom, it is hard no matter how we do it. Fortunately, I have a wonderful mother, who is fabulous with our children and offers herself for the times I cannot be home. (I will never be able to thank you enough, Mom) Buuut, this also makes her "the babysitter". Emily loves the one-on-one time and has always enjoyed those times when Mommy goes to work. For Hannah, this is a new experience and we have practiced. The tears last only seconds (just til I leave the room) but they are still tears - cried by my little one, who has probably cried more in her little life than I would ever want to know about. Hannah always gives my mom, "the look" (many of you have probably seen it!) Today, we had a milestone though...when I returned from work and my mother was leaving, she hugged Em and gave out kisses and then Hannah ran from me to my mom and hugged and kissed her and then did it again! I was overjoyed and Nan? She just beamed!

So, yes, in honor of Thankful Thursday, for this I am truly grateful!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

China Family Picnic

"Each tree is known by it's own fruit." Luke 6:44

Sunday was our agency's China Family Picnic. It was so wonderful to be able to connect again with some families that made the trek to China alongside us. The internet has afforded us so much in providing daily check-ins with families who share the "red thread", but it is in seeing, touching, hugging, connecting that we gain so much.

It occurred to me as I looked around, especially at those from our group, we each had so much to offer each other, regardless of how we may have arrived there or what circumstances led us to our children. Our families are different and that is what makes it so beautiful.

I had the blessing of running into an old friend from one of my first jobs (which I loved - the job and the friend) - she has this gorgeous family and they await a mei mei for their little one. How wonderful - best wishes Jeanne.

We missed families that live far away or could not be there because of other plans, but we manage to connect anyway and I am so thankful for that. A big surprise was seeing Rod, Laura and Hannah. We were thrilled to be in their company, are so happy they made the trip to be there. Our Emily was especially taken with their Hannah as you will see.

We were supposed to be at the beach Sunday - I am grateful we changed our plans and spent some time re-connecting.

Blog Blinging

Hello all! As you may have noticed, I had my blog blinged. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that there is very little "bling" about me, but I have to say, Sara did a beautiful job finding just the right match for our family. Thanks so much Sara. (You can find her at )

Friday, August 3, 2007

Life is Full Of Important Days

Happy Anniversary! To us and to our little Hannah Banana! We have been married six years today and Hannah has been home for four whole months. When I think back to our wedding day, so bright, full of promise and just bursting with energy, I think to myself ~ this ride has been all I anticipated and so very much more. I can't wait to see what the next year brings! I never expected to find what I have found. Neither did my dear husband, and so we feel blessed. Then, what a rich embellishment to have not one, but two, beautiful daughters that daily amaze us and bring more joy than either of us knew existed.

An impromptu picture taken when we weren't looking! It became our favorite

At the time, I was still with the youth group, in fact, they sang at our wedding - it was truly touching. We were married in a country church high in the hills of the county where we live. It was a hot day, but pretty, and I gazed out the window watching family and friends enter the church. It was electric. The church was filled to capacity and people were even standing ~ practically an entire congregation came to see us wed. Understand, I had married a fellow choir boy earlier in this life of mine. Sadly, that marriage ended in a public and painful divorce (there was a time when I could not even utter the "d" word). I wondered at the time how I would ever minister to those kids - I was broken, wounded and felt like a failure. The truth is, those kids kept my spirit alive - the Lord used that time to heal, raise me up and each day He brought renewed purpose to me. During that time, He also brought to me a gentleman, whom He would have me marry, despite my plan to "never do that again!"

So, at the end of the ceremony when they pronounced us, that church rose to it's feet and there was not only applause, but cheering (we have pictures) and it was incredible.

Today, I am thankful...

for a husband who works hard and puts his family first in all instances.

Thankful for his dimples and infectious laugh.

Thankful for his talents and gifts and the way he has shared these with us.

Thankful that his shyness complements my "wear it on my sleeve"-ness.

I am thankful I prayed for him and the Lord answered my prayers.

Baby Emily

Then, came the baby carriage. Emily came into this world with a smile on her face. Happy and exuberant, this little girl had a sense of humor early in her little life. She loves Jesus (and will tell you all about Him if you care to listen.)She loves animals and the alphabet, she's learning to read and she loves to sing. Now, with her little sister in tow, she wants to hear all the stories of when she was a baby. It's fun to remember...they grow so quickly.

Finally!! April 4, 2007

Twister anyone?

And Hannah, well, she's just delightful. She's waving and saying hi now, but don't come too close, because she is not ready for anyone but Mommy and Daddy to hold her. She calls us Mama and Daddy and calls Emily, "Mimi". She tells you when she has to go to the bathroom, and requests a clean diaper when necessary. She's walking and gaining speed and precision everyday. She knows lots of body parts and wants to quiz us daily. Her favorite word these days is "up" and her favorite cup is the orange one with the monkey and a straw. She thinks patty-cake is hysterically funny and asks for it often.(this has replaced the itsy-bitsy-spider which was her favorite!) It is hard to remember the Hannah that got off that plane four months ago, scared and unfamiliar. This little girl binds this family together.

So today, we are thankful...

Thankful the Lord knew Hannah before we did and put us together as only He could do.

Thankful that Hannah knows us, trusts us and grows each day.

Thankful that she likes to play with her sister and vice versa.

Thankful that Emily desires to bring joy to Hannah and gets such joy out of being with her (she wants to be the first to see her in the morning.)

Thankful for all the steps that brought us to this place. It is a beautiful place.


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